Mental health worksheets: Take 10% off your order of any size by using coupon code "march2023" at checkout!

Day
Hour
Minute
Second

Naltrexone Addiction Treatment: Everything You Need to Know

Naltrexone is a medication that is commonly used in the treatment of addiction. It works by blocking the receptors in the brain that are responsible for the pleasurable effects of alcohol and opioids, thereby reducing the desire to consume these substances. Naltrexone can be administered in various forms, including tablets, injections, and implants, and is usually used in conjunction with other therapies such as counseling or behavioral therapy. In this article, we will explore the different aspects of naltrexone addiction treatment, including its effectiveness, side effects, and usage. Keep reading to learn about Naltrexone addiction treatment options and how it can help you.

Effectiveness of Naltrexone Addiction Treatment

Naltrexone has been shown to be effective in the treatment of alcohol and opioid addiction. A study found that naltrexone significantly reduced the risk of relapse in patients with alcohol dependence compared to a placebo. Similarly, a review of several studies found that naltrexone was effective in reducing opioid use and increasing abstinence rates.

Naltrexone is particularly effective in preventing relapse in individuals who have already undergone detoxification and have been abstinent for a period of time. It is also effective in reducing cravings and improving overall mood, which can be particularly helpful in the early stages of recovery.

When compared to other medications such as acamprosate, Naltrexone has been shown to be more effective for the treatment of alcohol addiction. The scores of a test called “Obsessive Compulsive Drinking Scale” decreased the most in people who took a medication called naltrexone, followed by baclofen and acamprosate. Another test called “Advance Warning of Relapse” also showed that naltrexone was the most effective at reducing scores, followed by baclofen and acamprosate. People who took these medications generally had a positive attitude towards the treatment, according to a test called “Hogan Drug Attitude Inventory”. 

Usage of Naltrexone Addiction Treatment

Naltrexone can be administered in several forms, including:

  • Tablets
  • Injections
  • Implants

The tablet form of naltrexone is usually taken once daily, either with or without food. The injection form of naltrexone is administered once a month by a healthcare provider. The implant form of naltrexone is a small pellet that is inserted under the skin and can provide continuous protection against relapse for several months.

Naltrexone can be used in conjunction with other therapies such as counseling or behavioral therapy.  These therapies can help individuals to develop coping strategies and address underlying psychological issues that may contribute to addiction. Before starting the Naltrexone treatment, must consult with a Naltrexone Doctor.

Side Effects of Naltrexone Addiction Treatment

Like all medications, naltrexone may have potential side effects. The most common side effects of naltrexone include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. These side effects are usually mild and tend to subside within a few days of starting treatment.

Less common side effects of naltrexone include liver damage and allergic reactions. Patients with a history of liver disease or hepatitis should be monitored closely while taking naltrexone. Patients who experience any signs of an allergic reaction, such as difficulty breathing or swelling of the face or throat, should seek immediate medical attention.

Remember that naltrexone should not be used by individuals who are currently using alcohol or opioids. Naltrexone can cause severe withdrawal symptoms in individuals who are physically dependent on these substances. Individuals who have recently used opioids or alcohol should wait at least 7-10 days before starting naltrexone treatment.

Risks Associated

 Like all medications, naltrexone addiction treatment carries some risks. Some of the potential risks associated with naltrexone include:

Liver damage

Naltrexone can cause liver damage, particularly if it is taken in high doses or for an extended period of time. Individuals with liver problems or those who are taking other medications that affect the liver should be closely monitored while taking naltrexone.

Overdose

While naltrexone itself is not addictive and does not cause a high, individuals who relapse and use opioids or alcohol while on naltrexone may be more likely to overdose due to the reduced tolerance that develops during treatment.

Side effects

Naltrexone can cause side effects, such as nausea, headache, dizziness, fatigue, and insomnia. These side effects are usually mild and tend to subside within a few days of starting treatment.

Interactions with other medications

Naltrexone can interact with other medications, particularly opioids, and can cause withdrawal symptoms if taken too soon after using opioids. Individuals should inform their healthcare provider of all medications they are taking before starting naltrexone treatment.

Allergic reactions

While rare, some individuals may have an allergic reaction to naltrexone. Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include difficulty breathing, hives, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. If any of these symptoms occur, individuals should seek medical attention immediately.

Don’t forget to inform your healthcare provider of any pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking before starting naltrexone treatment. Healthcare providers can monitor for potential risks and adjust the treatment plan as needed.

While naltrexone can be an effective treatment option for individuals struggling with alcohol or opioid addiction, it is not without risks. Individuals should be closely monitored by a healthcare provider while taking naltrexone and inform them of any potential side effects or concerns. If any adverse reactions occur, individuals should seek medical attention immediately.

Cost of Naltrexone Addiction Treatment

The cost of naltrexone addiction treatment can vary depending on the form of the medication used and the duration of treatment. The tablet form of naltrexone is usually less expensive than the injection or implant form of the medication. However, the injection and implant forms of naltrexone may be more convenient for individuals who have difficulty adhering to a daily medication regimen.

The cost of naltrexone addiction treatment may be covered by insurance. Medicaid and most private insurance plans cover naltrexone treatment for alcohol and opioid addiction. Patients should check with their insurance provider to determine their coverage. In order to know the exact cost, it is important to contact an addiction specialist or an addiction rehab. This is because usually, a medication-assisted treatment program may include other amenities. In an outpatient addiction center, naltrexone addiction treatment is coupled with counseling and support groups that may cost differently. In short, the exact amount of naltrexone addiction treatment can only be known once you know the duration of medication, form of naltrexone implemented, and the rehab you opt for. 

Alternative Addiction Treatments

While naltrexone is an effective treatment for alcohol and opioid addiction, it is not the only option available. Other medications that are used in the treatment of addiction include acamprosate, which is used to reduce alcohol cravings, and Suboxone, which is used to reduce withdrawal symptoms and cravings for opioids. Behavioral therapies, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and motivational interviewing (MI), can also be effective in helping individuals overcome addiction.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is a form of therapy that focuses on identifying and changing negative thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to addiction. During a CBT session, a therapist will work with the individual to identify their negative thoughts and beliefs, as well as any behaviors that may be reinforcing those thoughts. The therapist will then help the individual to develop strategies to challenge and change those negative thoughts and behaviors, and replace them with more positive ones. This may involve practicing relaxation techniques, engaging in problem-solving exercises, or gradually exposing the individual to situations that trigger anxiety or fear.

CBT is a goal-oriented and practical form of therapy, and sessions are typically short-term (around 12-20 sessions). CBT has been shown to be effective in treating a wide range of mental health conditions, including anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and substance abuse disorders. It can be used alone or in combination with medication and other forms of therapy.

In addition to medication-assisted treatment and behavioral therapies, support groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) can be helpful in providing social support and encouragement during the recovery process.

It is important to note that addiction treatment should be tailored to the individual’s specific needs and circumstances. Some individuals may require a combination of medications, therapy, and support groups to achieve successful long-term recovery.

Final Thoughts on Naltrexone Addiction Treatment

Thanks for reading this resource on Naltrexone addiction treatment and how it can help you. Naltrexone is a medication that is commonly used in the treatment of alcohol and opioid addiction. It works by blocking the receptors in the brain that are responsible for the pleasurable effects of these substances, thereby reducing the desire to consume them. Naltrexone can be administered in several forms, including tablets, injections, and implants, and is usually used in conjunction with other therapies such as counseling or behavioral therapy.

Naltrexone has been shown to be effective in preventing relapse and reducing cravings in individuals who have already undergone detoxification and have been abstinent for a period of time. While naltrexone may have potential side effects, they are usually mild and tend to subside within a few days of starting treatment. It is important to note that naltrexone should not be used by individuals who are currently using alcohol or opioids.

Alternative addiction treatments, such as Acamprosate, methadone, CBT, and MI, can also be effective in helping individuals overcome addiction. Support groups such as AA and NA can also provide social support and encouragement during the recovery process.

Are you struggling with substance abuse? Find a mental health professional that treats drug addiction here.

Jordyn Mastrodomenico LPC, LCADC CTP
Author: Jordyn Mastrodomenico LPC, LCADC CTP

Jordyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Licensed Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor (LCADC) and Certified Trauma Professional (CTP). She holds a Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling, from Caldwell University, Jordyn has extensive experience in Outpatient and Intensive Outpatient settings and is skilled at guiding clients through the recovery process in individual and group therapy sessions.

Need Help? Explore Online Therapy Options

Need help? Explore these great online therapy providers:

Advertisement

BetterHelp

The world's largest therapy service, 100% online.
  • $60 to $90 per week, billed every 4 weeks
  • Receive therapy via messaging, phone, or live video
  • Flexible option to cancel at any time

Take 15% off your first month

Online-Therapy.com

Great option to find a online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  • $40 to $88 per week, billed monthly
  • Receive therapy via live video, messaging, and worksheets
  • Multi-faceted program includes videos, journaling, and yoga

Take 20% off your first month

Talkspace

Great option to find a large network of online therapy and psychiatry services.
  • $69 to $129 per week, billing flexible
  • Receive therapy via messaging, phone, or live video
  • Psychiatric services and prescription management available

Use code 'SPACE' for $100 off your first subscription

Need Help? Explore Online Therapy Options

Need help? Explore these great online therapy providers:

Advertisement

BetterHelp

The world's largest therapy service, 100% online.
  • $60 to $90 per week, billed every 4 weeks
  • Receive therapy via messaging, phone, or live video
  • Flexible option to cancel at any time

Take 15% off your first month

Online-Therapy.com

Great option to find a online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
  • $40 to $88 per week, billed monthly
  • Receive therapy via live video, messaging, and worksheets
  • Multi-faceted program includes videos, journaling, and yoga

Take 20% off your first month

Talkspace

Great option to find a large network of online therapy and psychiatry services.
  • $69 to $129 per week, billing flexible
  • Receive therapy via messaging, phone, or live video
  • Psychiatric services and prescription management available

Use code 'SPACE' for $100 off your first subscription

Advertisement

TherapyByPro Special Offer: Take 15% off your first month, cancel at any time.

Scroll to Top